New rapid prototyping centre opens in UK
A new, state of the art rapid prototyping facility aimed at 'transforming engineering design' has been opened at the University of Southampton.
The £300,000 hub will offer students access to expert design staff, a powder-based 3D Systems ZPrinter Z650 machine and a plastic photopolymer-based ZBuilder Ultra, as well as associated consumables and two BFB3000 rapid prototyping colour printers housed in a newly refurbished lab.
Professor Simon Cox, associate dean of enterprise at the university's faculty of engineering and the environment, commented: "The ability to take designs from a CAD workstation to fully functional prototypes is truly inspirational and exciting for students across all of our engineering disciplines and brings together the excellence and passion of university staff to create a distinctive Southampton engineering experience."
Southampton researchers have already produced a number of world firsts in the world of 3D printing, including the world's first 3D printed plane and the first fully rapid prototyped air vehicle, the ASTRA (Atmospheric Science through Robotic Aircraft) Atom.
According to Prof Cox, the new facility will significantly enhance undergraduate engineering degree programmes at all levels and further link to wider education and outreach activities across the university.
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